By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
WICHITA - The 12th annual Tallgrass Film Festival will run from Oct. 15-19 in downtown Wichita, and will offer audiences almost 50 feature films, including at least three LGBT films, and will include more than 100 film shorts.
The Tallgrass Film Association (TFA) received more than 1,400 film submissions and had the heavy task of whittling down to 50 films. Lela Meadow-Conner, the executive director, Marketing/Public Relations for TFA, says one of the films that has generated a lot of buzz is The Overnighters, a film about the people working in the North Dakota oil boom. Other films that have garnered attention on the festival circuit include Man from Reno, Art and Craft, and Johnny Winter Down & Dirty.
This year’s festival will include educational workshops, filmmaker roundtable discussions (all of which are open to the public), and lots of parties, says Meadow-Conner. “We’ll be using exciting new venues this year like Union Station and the Great Plains Transportation Museum for off-screen events, and new screening venues include Wichita Center for the Arts and WSU Shift Space.”
LAWRENCE - To most, Tret Fure’s name is synonymous with the genre “Women’s Music.” She recorded with and produced some of the best of women’s music including the legendary “Meg & Cris at Carnegie Hall.” She worked as a duo with Cris Williamson throughout the 90s, producing, engineering and releasing three CDs together during those years.
Fure will perform Saturday, Oct. 25 at 7pm at the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, 1263 N. 1100 Road. The concert is open to the public.
LAWRENCE, WICHITA - National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as a gender or sexual minority. The day is observed annually by members of the LGBT community and allies on Oct. 11.
The holiday is observed in a wide variety of ways: from rallies and parades to information tables in public spaces. Participants often wear pride symbols such as pink triangles and rainbow flags. This year Wichita will celebrate NCOD on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Naftzger Park. Festivities will start at 6pm and will include organizational tables, information and speakers. The event is sponsored by The Center of Wichita.
On the WSU campus National Coming Out Day will be celebrated on Friday, Oct. 10 from 11am-1pm on the Rhatigan Student Center north patio. The event is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Spectrum: LGBTQ and Allies (formerly That Gay Group!). For more information, contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 316-978-3034.
In Lawrence, NetworQ is celebrating National Coming Out Day 2014 on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 3pm with an Oktoberfest gathering at Clinton Park on 5th Street (901 W. 5th). The wearing of lederhosen is encouraged! NetworQ will provide the brats, the community is encouraged to bring side dishes and beverages of choice.
By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
WICHITA - ArtAID, the party-meets-art-auction that benefits Positive Directions (PDI), is about to launch its 20th anniversary event on Oct. 10 at the Cotillion in Wichita. No one understands the meaning of such a momentous milestone than those at PDI.
“It’s absolutely an important milestone,” says Renee Duxler, executive director of PDI. “Not only for this event, but for the HIV/AIDS community.”
PDI is about to begin its 24th year of service in Wichita. The non-profit organization, which began in 1991, provides community, action, resources, education and support for those who have HIV or AIDS and their loved ones. The organization also educates people about behaviors that put them at risk for HIV infection.
“I think that says a lot about the epidemic, and that while things have changed tremendously from 20 years ago … there is still a need because people are still becoming infected, and needing care,” Duxler said.
KANSAS CITY – Kristie Stremel and Mel Wade will be center stage at Missie B’s on Friday. Oct. 17 at 7pm. The singer/songwriters love to play together when their tours overlap and this time they will meet in Kansas City. Stremel, a Hays native, has a new CD out called Kristie Stremel - Songwriter, her first self-produced album, on her own label Stremeltone.
Wade, from Reno, Nev., will bring her unique folk/acoustic sound to the stage. Her debut album is titled Solitude.
In September 2014 Stremel released Wildflowers – Original Songs And Poems For And About Children with 14 tracks by independent artists as well as her single Love is What Makes A Family. The new single also includes a read-along book illustrated by Blue Haas.
Tickets are $18 and are available at kristieandmel.brownpapertickets.com.
New York City… For Immediate release… Cher is on the mend from her recent illness but her doctors have advised that her recovery will take longer than previously expected.. As a result, the hugely successful D2K Tour which has already completed 49 remarkable shows will start back up in Lubbock Texas on November 9th. A new schedule of all upcoming D2K tour dates will be officially announced on CHER.COM next week which will include newly rescheduled dates for the postponed shows.
“The initial viral infection affected her kidneys, which has delayed Cher’s recovery time. Cher’s doctors have advised her to extend her rest period and expect her to make a full recovery” commented her spokesperson.
WICHITA - EcoFest 2014, the inaugural event of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita’s family-friendly celebration, offers activities and products designed to inspire all ages to “live green.” The event will be held from 10am-4pm, Oct. 11, at the church, 7202 E. 21st St.
Event organizers Marcia Ellsworth and Vivien Minshull-Ford note the wide variety in the more than 20 exhibits and vendors’ booths, including Beads and Boxes, Wildfire Jewelry, Fair Trade products, Sierra Club, ProKansas (recycling), along with alternative energy demonstrations and exhibits.
Church members will showcase their talents with baked goods, jewelry, crafts, “repurposed” clothing and original artwork.
WICHITA - People in Wichita’s North End are organizing a creative uprising in their neighborhood. On Saturday, Oct. 4 street artists, skateboarders, musicians, and chefs will take over the NoMar International Market at 21st and Broadway for The North End Urban Arts Festival; a cultural intervention in one of Wichita’s most diverse, yet under celebrated neighborhoods.
The festival is a project of the ICT-Army of Artists, a volunteer-based effort whose current mural project has hit walls across Wichita. The first mural celebrating the rich history of the North End’s immigrant roots went up last summer.
Since then, a mural bringing out the richness of Kansas history has gone up in Delano, and another, celebrating the empowerment of women through education and experience, is set to go up in the North End.
By Brian Hansen
WICHITA – The local chapter of Prime Timers Worldwide recently held an anniversary celebration in honor of its 15th year together. Wichita Prime Timers began in 1999 and has provided a variety of activities for gay men in their “prime” years.
“The anniversary celebration was well attended by over 30 guys,” says Norm Gentry, Member Director and 14-year member.
Dr. Robert Minor, one of Liberty Press’ columnists, was the guest speaker at the event.
“[Prime Timers] is where I have made some of my best friends, who are support for me,” says the Vice President, Rollin Dillinger, a member since 2002. “Such a group offers a way to socialize with other gay seniors, some of whom may not feel comfortable in bars.”
Prime Timers was founded in 1987 in Boston by a retired professor, Woody Baldwin. The organization has grown to over 75 chapters worldwide, located throughout North America, Europe and Australia.
There was an article in the Aug. 15 Eagle that quotes a recent McClatchy-Marist Poll. Its findings confirm what we already know “Americans are changing their minds about gays at a startling pace.” The main reasons are two-fold, young people growing up in a new age where LGBT people are out and commonly in the news and on TV and more people of all ages becoming increasingly aware of LGBT in their families and lives.
Our community can take credit for a lot of the change. The common mantra encouraging people to “Come Out, Come Out” has worked. We knew it made a difference - people who know people who are gay are far more likely to be accepting.
But still, the change in attitudes found in the survey are amazing and yes, startling.
The poll includes these findings:
The changes are sometimes hard to see in Kansas, a state where the same-sex marriage amendment passed by almost 70% and an openly gay candidate received death threats just a few years ago. Nevertheless it is hard not to be encouraged by the results reported in the poll. The trend seems inevitably more accepting - even in Kansas - and the thought of going backwards . . . well, it just isn’t going to happen.
Amid vocal opposition, the poll found that “virtually any movement in public opinion has been in favor of same-sex marriage.” Despite the efforts of the anti-marriage crusade 12% of respondents switched from opposition to support compared to just 1% from support to opposition. Their tactics aren’t working.
Marriage support is great and we see that all the time lately with states laws banning same-sex marriage falling one by one, support for a gay political candidate is also good news, however I think the best result of all is the one concerning families.
The future of our movement, the growing number of young people who are coming out at even younger ages will be the most successful when they receive unconditional support from their family. So when nearly half say they wouldn’t be upset if a child came out to them and an additional 14% said they wouldn’t be very upset that is incredible news for our youth and foundation.
It’s also important to note how drastic that change is. Get this, according to a Los Angeles Times survey 30 years ago FOUR percent said they wouldn’t be upset at all and FIVE percent said they wouldn’t be very upset.
Wow. As National Coming Out Day approaches on Oct. 11, let’s celebrate who we are, how far we’ve come and the hope our community’s future. And of course, Come Out. We’re seeing the results and the odds are in our favor.
By Charles S. McVey
PERFORMANCE ARTIST, Ron Athey, has spent the majority of his life as a spectacle of sorts. As a child, he was prophetized to become a great spiritual leader by members of the Pentecostal church he attended in Pomona, CA.
In the 90s, after a false report of a performance at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, he became a poster-boy for the argument against funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Twenty years later, Athey continues to challenge audiences with graphic and surreal imagery.
Charles S. McVey: With much of your earlier work there seemed to be a real urgency to leave your mark because you had limited time due to your HIV status. However, 20 years later you’re still here. Has the earnestness of that period left you or has it changed?
Ron Athey: It’s different, but those issues still exist and morph into other ones. I think [it’s hard] for everybody from that era to adapt to life after that intensity. … [R]eally putting it all out there in case this is the last year. And it was the last year for a lot of those people. So, It’s hard to compare to it. But I’m still plugged into a lot of those issues.
CSM: Has your perception about your amount of time available changed?
RA: It’s not urgent, but when you’re past 50, you’re like ‘I’m well beyond the halfway mark and I might be here in 10 years...’ I’m not sick... So yes, it’s changed.
This past February, Athey, who now lives in London, returned to America for a stint of performances in Chicago and Los Angeles. The two Chicago performances, a cooperative endeavor between the Defibrillator and Hook Torture galleries, were held at the Mana Contemporary downtown.
Opening night, Athey revisited Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains, a collaborative piece originally started with deceased artist, Lawrence Steger. A crowd of varying ages took turns rubbing Vaseline on Athey’s tattooed body as he laid on a ladder. Fishhooks attached to the white wall behind, pierced and pulled at his eyelids and cheeks, forcing his face into a strangely ecstatic smile. This willingness to present himself vulnerable elicits a myriad of responses from revulsion to affection. This has become the hallmark of Athey’s work.
Casper, WY, October 20, 2014—Today, the State of Wyoming announced that it will file a notice stating that it will not appeal a U.S. District Court ruling that found the state’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. As a result, same-sex couples can begin marrying at 10 am MT tomorrow.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming granted an order sought by four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality that the state immediately lift its marriage equality ban and begin allowing same-sex couples to marry. Citing two decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit striking down Utah’s and Oklahoma’s bans on marriage for same-sex couples, Judge Skavdahl ruled that Wyoming’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry violates the U.S Constitution.
New York – Today Arizona Republican Attorney General Tom Horne announced that he will not appeal a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick, which held that Arizona’s law denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Arizona is now the 31st state where same-sex couples can marry, up from 19 at the beginning of October.
Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
“Today’s ruling in Arizona affirms what nearly every court in the past year has held: loving and committed same-sex couples are guaranteed the freedom to marry by the U.S. Constitution. It is time for the courts to finish the job and end marriage discrimination throughout the land.”
“Welcome, Arizona – the 31st freedom to marry state! We are grateful that Judge Sedwick acted so quickly to remove the remaining barrier blocking same-sex couples from the privileges and protections of marriage.”
(Phoenix, AZ, October 17, 2014) - U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick today struck down Arizona’s discriminatory marriage ban, paving the way for same-sex couples across the state to apply for marriage licenses or to have their legal out-of-state marriages respected.
“Welcome, Arizona - the 31st freedom to marry state! We are grateful that Judge Sedwick acted so quickly to remove the remaining barrier blocking same-sex couples from the privileges and protections of marriage,” Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Jennifer C. Pizer said. “The lead couple in our lawsuit, Nelda and Karen, have been waiting to get married since Eisenhower was president. For them and many other couples, that long wait is finally over.”
WASHINGTON—Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages taking place in the states affected by the Supreme Court’s recent decision to decline to review rulings from three federal appeals courts that had struck down bans on same-sex marriage. The Attorney General added that the Department of Justice will work with agencies across the administration to ensure that all applicable federal benefits are extended to those couples as soon as possible.
Charleston, SC, October 15, 2014 - Today Lambda Legal, in partnership with South Carolina Equality, filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court of South Carolina arguing that South Carolina is obligated to allow same-sex couples to marry. Governor Haley and Attorney General Wilson vowed to continue to apply the laws banning marriage for same-sex couples even after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down a similar ban in Virginia. Because South Carolina is also within the jurisdiction of the Fourth Circuit, the decision in the Virginia case is binding on South Carolina.
“The Fourth Circuit’s decision means that same-sex couples in South Carolina should be shopping for a caterer, not a lawyer. Governor Haley and Attorney General Wilson cannot continue to ignore the rule of law. Fortunately, they have run out of cards to play - we’re urging the court to allow same-sex couples in South Carolina to marry without any further delay,” said Beth Littrell, Senior Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. “The state doesn’t have any credible arguments for a court in South Carolina to entertain.”